Works by Chuck Close and His Turnaround Arts Kids on view at Bridgeport’s Housatonic Museum

Substitute teachers usually have a hard time commanding the respect and attention of their students.

But not many substitute teachers boast the credentials of Chuck Close.

The world-famous contemporary artist recently mentored 600-plus students from kindergarten through the eighth grades at Bridgeport’s Roosevelt School, helping them to create works of art that are now on view in a new exhibition at the Housatonic Museum of Art.

“Chuck Close and his Turnaround Arts Kids” will be on view in the Burt Chernow Galleries, 900 Lafayette Blvd., Bridgeport, through Dec. 15.

The exhibition also features five of Close’s large-scale archival watercolor pigment prints, including portraits of a few of Roosevelt students.

“The monumental portraits explore the intersection of photography and painting, providing an arresting experience,” according to the museum.

Close visited Roosevelt School as part of President Barack Obama’s Turnaround Arts initiative, which aims to improve low-performing schools by increasing student engagement through the arts.

Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Thursday, 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; and Sunday, noon-4 p.m.

Scott Gargan